This is an adaptation of a Discord discussion in response to this tweet:
What you subsidize, you get more of. Most charity is for this reason deeply misguided. If you give money to beggars, then the number of beggars shall multiply. If you feed those who cannot feed themselves, then soon you will also have to feed their children.
— Zero HP Lovecraft (@0x49fa98) August 4, 2018
Somebody (whose permission to use their name I didn’t request) asked:
Mr. Pera, could you comment on this? Does this clash with Christianity’s idea of charity?
Does Christianity somehow invert the status hierarchy, or is this not applicable?
Yes, explicitly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_washing#Background
Or does a connection with God lift you one above the hierarchy?
It doesn’t, but it introduces salvation of the soul as the more salient value.
The important follow-up questions are
1) Is it empirically correct that Christian charity produces more beggars, and
2) If so, is that an acceptable cost for accomplishing its purpose, is there an Aristotelian mean for charity, or should we discard it as a form of maladaptive cuckoldry?
I’d argue that 1) no, and 2) if God tells you to burn the world, you do it (after asking for clarification, verifying his identity as best as possible, checking this against the pattern of his previous commands, etc. due diligence type stuff). But I think Zero HP Lovecraft is being overly analytical and underly empirical. I’d offer the following as compelling empirical evidence against Zero HP Lovecraft’s insistence that charity incentivizes dependency:
Update: MM provides notes.
-people with happy and productive lives, who are not isolated and who have deep social ties, do not get addicted.
-you “bond” with cocaine, gambling, wtvr, in place of a normal thingy
-A core part of addiction is not being able to stand to be present in your life (nothing to be present for)
-We’ve traded connections for stuff.
-Make addicts feel “you arent alone, we love you” instead of threats and punishments
-The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection.
(Sobrity = connection IMO but whatever…)
-We are making a society where it is harder to be present in (thus setting us up for mass unhappiness, addiction, etc.)
Very very. true
Unfullfilling jobs, lives spent running after useless shit, “socialization” through souless social media (like this right now…), divorce, lack of exercise and nutrition.
(And of course, corporations BUILD addictive conditions to create captive user bases. Social media, sugar water, fast food, pills. Thats big business!)
Of course increasing amounts of people will want to leave reality by taking drugs. This reality fucking sucks.
That reminds me, I need to announce that the Discord is under new management, which is to say its original management. I’m still microblogging there pretty much every day, but MM is once again the admin.